In our first video game adaptations special (read it!) I listed all movies that are in pre-production or actually getting shot as we speak, projects that have already gone far beyond the script phase. Obviously, tons more have been announced over the years – and this article covers nearly all of them. So, what would you like to have seen? What were bullets dodged?

Prepare to scroll, as this is a long article. Not Filmcrithulk long, but long. Enjoy!

(note: I used all kinds of sources for this including sheer memory, but for easier research I’ve mostly linked to the games’ wikipedia entries)(believe me, the article is already long enough as it is)


Video game adaptations that might actually come:

American McGee’s Alice: McGee, whose first name actually is American (he had an eccentric mom), has tried hard to get this made into a movie, but couldn’t get funding for it. Now he’s preparing an animated short called Alice: Otherlands that he got made by using Kickstarter. He hopes that it’ll enable him to make a third video game and, eventually, a feature film. A darker take on Alice in Wonderland? Sure, why not?

BioShock: This one really hurts. Gore Verbinski was eager to make this and he wanted it to be a hard R, $200 million dollar production. The studio didn’t want to back that and proposed a PG-13 $80 million dollar version instead. Not ready to give in, both Verbinski and game creator Ken Levine weren’t up for compromise, and as Verbinski was doing work on Rango on the side, he didn’t want to leave the country. Levine tried again with Juan Carlos Fresnadillo as the director, but that didn’t go well. A major bummer, as BioShock was obviously one of the best games of the last decade, especially visually.
Officially, this is canceled and no longer in production, but I’d bet money that this isn’t completely dead yet. A new BioShock game will come, and a movie idea will be back on the table. source

Call of Duty:
In 2009, a PR guy of Infinity Ward tweeted that he’s having a meeting with Xavier Gens, director of the first Hitman movie, to talk about movie adaptations. Whatever he may have suggested to Gens, the Frenchman didn’t go above and beyond the call of duty to direct this. Which sucks, as the story of Soap and Captain Price would make one hell of a movie. It’s basically what Jack Bauer does on 24 just times 100. source

Paul WS Anderson wrote a script (which I have actually read – it was pretty solid) for this Dracula action adventure and he also wanted to direct it, but internal struggles at the studio stopped the production. Sylvain White (The Losers) briefly replaced him, and James Wan replaced White. Right now, no one’s attached to it, but Anderson has said that he’s still interested in having a stake in it. source

Dante’s Inferno:
In 2013, Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead remake) was announced to do this for Universal. In May 2014, Alvarez told Collider that he has a finished script by Jay Basu, and that he’s ready to start casting. A sequel to the game isn’t getting made, but don’t forget the upcoming third Dan Brown adaptation Inferno. It’ll remind people of this game’s source, and that may bring this movie back on the table. source


Dead Island: Remember when the first game’s trailer went on to become a viral sensation? Lionsgate immediately bought the rights, and last time I checked they were still working on it. But could this be any better than Dead Rising: Watchtower? source

Dead Space:
There’s good news and bad news. Good: John Carpenter himself said he’d love to do this. Bad: Carpenter now prefers to play video games all day long, and no one will fund a super expensive R-rated sci-fi horror movie for him. Oh, and Justin Marks (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li) was/is attached to it. source

Deus Ex:
Scott Derrickson was keen on making this a reality, but as he’s gearing up to direct Marvel’s Dr. Strange it will take some more time. source

Devil May Cry: Screen Gems, the company that makes the Resident Evil movies, acquired the rights in 2011. Kyle Ward (Machete Kills) is writing a script. source

Doom remake: In 2008, id Software’s Todd Hollenshead said that they thought about adapting Doom 4 into a movie. Around the time of the first Doom adaptation, he also said that he’d love to see the Strogg Wars in a Quake movie. Of course, Hollenshead has since left id, just like id originals John Romero and John Carmack. source

Driver: Paul WS Anderson once had the rights from 2002-2006. Roger Avary (co-writer of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, also wrote the first Silent Hill movie) took over, but didn’t get anywhere yet. And that man shows up once more on this list. source

EverQuest: Avi Arad bought the rights for the MMORPG in 2007 and signed one of the writers of 300 to develop a script for a tentpole movie. Personally, I prefer SeaQuest. source


Gears of War: Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard) hoped to direct this for New Line for a long time, but they never got the script right. Since then, I, Frankenstein director Stuart Beattie is trying to get this made, and I’m sure creator CliffyB who is of course no longer working for Epic would love to see this. source

God of War: Plans were announced in 2005, and Daniel Craig turned down the lead (Craig for Kratos? Who came up with that?). The Collector writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan have written a new script in 2013 and apparently there’s funding for a $150 million dollar production, but nothing else is set in stone. source

Gran Turismo: Sony is developing the racing sim into a movie, and according to reports from earlier this year Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) is set to write and direct. source

Guitar Hero: Not a joke. Brett Ratner actually lobbied hard to make this, probably when he saw sales numbers. Apparently, part III made a billion dollars. As we all know, the creator surprisingly went broke soon after. BUT, now there’s a new game coming in 2015, and as Ratner isn’t busy working on either Beverly Hills Cop 4 or Rush Hour 4source

Mass Effect: Legendary owns this and Avi Arad has worked on it. Morgan Davis Foehl who wrote Blackhat for Michael Mann is typing the script, and it seems that they no longer plan on adapting the original game. Initially, Legendary wanted to make this with Warner Bros, but they’re now flirting with Universal. source


Metal Gear (Solid): This has a rather long backstory, but this too is currently in the hands of Avi Arad. Earlier this year, Jay Basu was officially chosen to write another script for Sony (they had already passed on several scripts, one of them comng from Snake’s voice actor and X-Men 1+2 writer David Hayter). What might make things easier now is the fact that MGS mastermind Hideo Kojima recently split with Konami. He may no longer have any say in a movie, and I’ve heard rumors that he stalled pretty much every attempt at making this. source

Mortal Kombat: I think we all know what happened here. First there was Kevin Tancharoen’s short Mortal Kombat: Rebirth which showed all those kombatants as realistic as possible. It lead to a way more fantasy-centric two-season web series called Mortal Kombat: Legacy starring Michael Jai White, Mark Dacascos, Casper van Dien, Darren Shalavi, Jeri Ryan and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. Tancharoen did all of that to make a Mortal Kombat movie, but when that didn’t materialize he left to direct three episodes of Agents of SHIELD, of which his sister Maurissa is the showrunner. source

Shadow of the Colossus: Josh Trank (Fantastic Four 2015) was attached to this, but when he left Andrés Muschietti (Mama) took over. The Hanna writer is working on a script. source

The Last of Us: A year ago, Sam Raimi announced to produce this for Screen Gems, with the original game creator writing the script. This is probably still alive. source

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Michael Bay has agreed to direct this for Warner Bros, at least according to a 2013 news item. Would he really choose this over a new Transformers? Maybe he’ll keep it as a Platinum Dunes production and give it to Jonathan Liebesman. source

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Three years ago, Tom Hardy was announced to play Sam Fisher. Then last year, Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) was set to direct and one of the producers claimed that filming would start in 2015. Sheldon Turner is working on a script by Eric Singer (The International). source


Tomb Raider: With the success of the reboot game plans for a similar movie arose, but they’re still looking for an adequate female director. As for the new lead: Angelina Jolie was 26 when she was cast as Lara Croft – the next actress chosen will be way younger, or at least play younger. Evan Daugherty (Turtles 2014) is attached to write. source

Uncharted: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Mark Wahlberg in an Uncharted movie directed by David O. Russell. What? Yeah, that was a thing for a while. Another strange choice was Joshua Oppenheimer for script. Oppenheimer of course went on to do the acclaimed documentaries The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence. It gets better: right now, Zero Dark Thirty writer Mark Boal is officially writing another script. Neil Burger (Limitless) and Seth Gordon each subsequently signed on to direct, but have left since. source

Wolfenstein: There were rumors that Rob Cohen was attached to direct this classic id Software property. A couple of years later, Roger Avary was slated to write and direct. However, Avary’s last movie was eleven years ago and his last work as a screenwriter eight years ago, so I wouldn’t really bet on him. source


Video game adaptations that are probably dead:

Army of Two: Universal bought the rights in 2008 and asked Michael Mann to make a movie out of it. As the third game in the series kinda tanked though, chances are low this will ever come. source

Super producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura bought the rights in 2009 for Universal, but nothing else has happened. Pixels certainly won’t change that. source

Broken Sword – The Shadow of the Templar: Back in 2007, comingsoon reported that the game’s studio had offered a movie adaptation to directors such as Bryan Singer and Martin Campbell. No one seemed to be interested. source

Clock Tower: The Weinstein Company made teaser posters for a movie directed by Martin Weisz (The Hills have Eyes 2), and Brittany Snow was attached to star, but Weisz’s version never got made. Later on, David R. Ellis (Snakes on a Plane) signed on for it, but he of course died in 2013. No replacement has been announced. source

Condemned: Criminal Origins: In 2008. Warner Bros had Kurt Sutter write a screenplay codenamed “The Unforgettable” for this, but there hasn’t been a new game in 7 years and Sutter is obviously busy writing TV. source

Crysis: Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli once announced plans for a Crysis movie, but after what happened with their earlier hit Far Cry (Till Schweiger starred in an Uwe Boll movie, trailer) they’re probably extremely careful. After financial struggles, the company seems to have shifted to making free-to-play titles. source


Diablo: There were never actual plans for an adaptation, but there’s fun trivia: Blizzard once forbid Vin Diesel to use the title for one of his movies. They had to retitle it to A Man Apart. source

Duke Nukem: There have been many rumors since the 90s, but the closest who over got to making it was one of the Max Payne producers. Duke Nukem Forever quickly faded out of public consciousness, and even though Gearbox has promised sequels to the game, it’s pretty much dead. Won’t come to get some. source

Halo: Man, another giant bummer. Alex Garland wrote a script in 2005 (which I’ve read and which was great), Guillermo del Toro was ready to direct it and Peter Jackson was on as a producer. Problems arose, del Toro left, and Neill Blomkamp came in (remember his Halo short?). He worked on it for five months but constant hicups with the script made it impossible. Blomkamp and Jackson left to do District 9 which of course became a blockbuster and a Best Picture nominee. But there is an upcoming television series, co-produced by Steven Spielberg. source

Heavy Rain: Bob Shaye wanted to produce this for Warner Bros. source

inFamous: Sheldon Turner (X-Men: First Class) got to write a draft for Sony and Avi Arad, apparently for a seven figure deal. source

Kane & Lynch: Bruce Willis and Jamie Foxx signed on to do this and they had a script by Kyle Ward. No director was ever found, though, and both of them left. Next round had Gerard Butler and Vin Diesel attached to it, with Skip Woods as screenwriter and F. Gary Gray as director. Nothing happened and Gray chose to do the Straight Outta Compton movie instead. It’s not even clear whether there’ll be a third Kane & Lynch game. source

MechWarrior (yes, technically, it’s a board game adaptation, but just this one time): Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich’s best friend and cooperative, tried to make this. Twelve years ago he pitched a movie to Paramount, but never got funding. source

Metroid Prime: John Woo opted to do this in 2005, and he even had Nintendo’s blessing at first. When it came to a script though, Nintendo was unable to work with the screenwriters and they could never agree on Samus Aran’s true motivations and backstory. Woo is no longer involved, and hasn’t made a non-period, non-Chinese movie in twelve years. source

Monster Hunter: Having directed the Resident Evil movies for Capcom, he also said about three years ago that he’d love to turn this other Capcom franchise into a movie franchise. source


Saint’s Row: 50 Cent bought the rights of this former, highly amusing GTA clone in 2009, but when the ongoing series became more original (meaning, hilariously absurd) and less of a straight gangsta game, he lost interest. source

Spore: In 2009, Maxis and EA expected this to be a major game franchise, and they lured in Ice Age‘s Chris Wedge to develop a movie. Sadly, Spore didn’t really grow on people and that was pretty much the end of it. source

Spy Hunter: Oh boy. This had a rocky way. Dwayne Johnson was set to star and they were so sure of the movie that they even used his likeness for a 2006 video game. Both John Woo and Paul WS Anderson were slated to direct at some point, and the script got reworked by a dirty dozen of screenwriters: Zak Penn, Stuart Beattie, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Mark Swift, Damian Shannon, and others. They had spent a lot on pre-production on this, but when Johnson finally bowed out after having been patient for so long he probably pulled the plug by leaving. source

Stranglehold: Remember the John Woo directed video game sequel to Hard Boiled? In 2010 a Chinese production team announced to make a movie out of it but nothing happened. source


The Legend of Zelda: Several studios have pitched ideas over the years, but ever since the amazingly terrible Super Mario Bros movie Nintendo is truly traumatized, and deeply afraid to make another giant mistake. Rumors constantly surface, but never anything substantial.

The Sims: In 2008, producer John Davis (Alien vs Predator) had an idea for a movie for the ridiculously popular game series. He suggested that in the movie kids would use a device to bring stuff in and out of the game. He also wanted to do Spyro the Dragon. source

The Suffering: The late Stan Winston agreed to do the effects on this, and Chiwetel Eijofor was cast as lead character Torque. When Midway Studios collapsed though, so did the movie. Also, there hasn’t been a new sequel in ten years, meaning it’ll probably forever be, uhm, suffering. source

Turok – Dinosaur Hunter: Remember the so-so last game released in 2008? Adam Beach who has a supporting role in the upcoming Suicide Squad as Slipknot told MTV back then that a movie would come. There hasn’t been a new game since. source

Twisted Metal: Deadline reported in 2012 that Brian Taylor (Crank 1+2) agreed to a 7-figure deal to direct a movie about the vehicular warfare action games. The last game showed up in 2002 though, and since then two other entries were cancelled. source

Wheelman: Vin Diesel has a game studio called Tigon, and aside from his Riddick games they also created a Driver like action game called Wheelman, with Vin’s likeness. Diesel hoped to turn this into a movie for Paramount, but the game bombed, and now there’s a bigger chance that his long gestating Hannibal Barca biopic gets made. source

Anything I forgot? Anything you would love to see getting made?